Revisiting my Covid Article from March 2020

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In March 2020, I wrote a blog article called Reasons for Hope about the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Let's just say that I was wrong about a lot of things.  But I was in good company.  From epidemiologists, to doctors, to politicians, Covid-19 made fools of us all.  So let's take a look at the article, what I got right, and what I got wrong.

Statement 1. China Has Already Mostly Defeated Coronavirus

Rating: Mostly accurate

I'm going to say that this was actually... mostly true.  It's true that China was almost certainly fudging the numbers.  They had more cases and deaths than they admitted to, especially early on.  But it does appear that China was able to mostly contain the initial outbreak and prevent further outbreaks from starting.  Unfortunately, their success seems to be in large part driven by a top-down central government which strictly controls the lives of its citizens.  The only other countries that have seen similar success are either islands like Australia or other authoritarian places.

Statement 2. South Korea Is Making Progress Too

Rating: Technically accurate

I'm not going to give myself too much credit here because "making progress" is a weasely statement.  South Korea did initially seem to stop Covid in its tracks.  By early May, cases had fallen to zero.  But like almost every other country, the progress was temporary and new cases started appearing as soon as restrictions were eased.

Statement 3. Western Governments are Finally Responding

Rating: Technically accurate

I never anticipated just how large the government response to Covid would be.  For an American such as myself, it was shocking to see the government dictate what a person could or could not do with their life.  What I also didn't anticipate was how ineffective these measures would be.  I assumed, like most people, that the pandemic would be largely ended after the first wave subsided.  I thought lockdowns or other measures such as track and trace would prevent further outbreaks.  After all, previous outbreaks such as SARS and Ebola had been successfully contained.  This assumption proved to be very wrong. 

And while reasonable people can argue about whether the lockdowns prevented the outbreak from being even worse, it's clear that they did not achieve their primary objective of ending the pandemic.  U.S. states which had loose restrictions did not suffer higher per-capita casualties than ones with stronger restrictions.  It may be that, to totally eliminate Covid, it would have been necessary to impose harsh and unprecedented restrictions that would have caused far more damage than the disease itself.

Statement 4. Testing Will Improve

Rating: Accurate

Finally one I got right, although this was a pretty obvious conclusion.  It still took a lot longer than it should have to fix the testing shortages.  Another problem was that free and easy testing didn't actual seem to slow the pandemic.  The worst months in the United States and Europe occurred this winter when testing was universally available.

Statement 5. The Disease Is Probably Less Deadly That We Think

Rating: Accurate

In my original article, I estimated the infection fatality rate due to Covid at less than 1%.  This turned out to be true for every country except for Japan (source: Nature).

Polls of U.S. citizens showed that average people vastly overestimated the risks of Covid, especially for the young.

Statement 6. It Barely Affects Kids

Rating: Mostly accurate

In the United States only about 0.05% of deaths with Covid occurred in people under the age of 17. 

Statement 7. Medical Treatments Will Improve

Rating: Mixed

The success story here is obviously the vaccines which came out much faster than anticipated and seem to be largely effective at preventing the virus.

But I was wrong about improved treatments for Covid.  I assumed that the medical industry would quickly discover therapies that would radically reduce the chance of death.  And while there were some changes to medical care, it was far from drastic.  Proposed medications such as Remdesivir or Hydroxychloroquine did not seem to be highly effective at treating the disease.  I'm still surprised that a better treatment hasn't been found.

Statement 8. Wild Animal Markets Are Being Shut Down

Rating: Inaccurate

It didn't take long for this to be proved completely false.  Less than one month after my article, consumers could once again purchase bats and dogs for consumption as food at China's famous wet markets.

Even more concerning, evidence is accumulating that the disease may not have had its origin in a wet market after all.  The idea that Covid-19 originated as an accidental lab release was once dismissed as a fringe conspiracy theory.  No longer.  This article published by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists presents evidence that the virus was created during "gain of function" research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  Then, last week, news broke that three researchers at that facility became ill and sought hospital care in November 2019, just before the start of the outbreak.

We may never know the true source of the pandemic, but an accidental lab release now appears possible, even likely.

Statement 9. Warm Temperatures Might Help

Rating: Mostly accurate

Of all my statements, this one got me the most flack.  In the end, I think it has turned out to be mostly true.  Like the flu, Covid has emerged as a seasonal illness in northern countries.

There is one caveat to this.  In extremely warm temperatures, people may tend to stay inside in air-conditioned spaces, which is ideal for the propagation of the virus.

Statement 10. It Could Have Been a Lot Worse

Rating: Accurate

Unless the virus mutates, less than 0.1% of the world's population will die from Covid-19.  By comparison, the Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 1% and 5%.  Other plagues, such as the Black Death were far worse.  We got off easy.  This time.

+13
Level 57
May 27, 2021
Funny how times change.
+2
Level 65
May 27, 2021
Aren't warm temperatures making it worse? Like the black fungus in India.
+2
Level 51
May 27, 2021
Plus absolutely horrible storing conditions for the vaccine.
+6
Level 57
May 27, 2021
Can confirm, it's very warm here, but situation is messed up. About a couple of weeks ago, we were getting 400k+ cases daily, and it was not counting people who didn't got tested, and considering the test rates, it was assumed the real number to be over a million cases. We are still around 200k per day based on government numbers, and instead of making the situation better, central government is campaigning in Bengal with thousands of people in a very confined space. Even people are not aware, members of people who died from covid are asking doctors to state the cause of death as something else, so that they can hold a normal funeral. And now black, white and yellow fungus cases have appeared at different locations, only making everything worse.
+3
Level 58
May 28, 2021
No offense, but India's government/large class divide hasn't made the country's situation any better.
+6
Level 57
May 28, 2021
I agree with this, central government focused on gaining control of states in elections by conducting huge rallies with no person having mask on while millions of people across the nation were suffering. In my personal opinion, state governments are doing far more better regarding covid than central government. The media is gaslighting people by showing "how amazing Modi did regarding coronavirus" by comparing India to the entire continent of Europe and showing how Europe has more cases than India and how "our beloved Modi" did better than 45 leaders of European countries combined, but never mentioned the fact that in several European countries, there was testing on a good level, and how individually, every country had very less cases compared to India, and how they were comparing 1 country to 45 countries.
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Level 70
May 28, 2021
Not to mention the fact that there's undercounting in India. I wouldn't be surprised if India had more cases/deaths than the entirety of Europe and it just doesn't reflect in their "official" data.
+1
Level 65
May 28, 2021
yeah it is clear that they are probably hiding like 3/4ths of their cases
+1
Level 55
May 29, 2021
If it really is 3/4ths, then it is likely because the Government doesn't have contact with all its people. However, considering Modi's increased incompetence during COVID, I wouldn't be surprised if they are hiding some stuff.
+1
Level 51
May 29, 2021
Update: The Government is saying that if you don't find the disease that killed someone, report it as the common cold, and you know how bad the Indian medical system is.
+1
Level 35
May 27, 2021
3. Yeah... some of them... at least are trying 🙄

Anyways, that’s a nice blog! Despite I’m a child, it doesn’t means I need to stop taking care and taking Ivermectin. :)

+1
Level 55
May 27, 2021
I'd say you did pretty good Quizmaster!
+12
Level 69
May 27, 2021
Forget mainstream media. I get my news from Jetpunk!
+5
Level 55
May 28, 2021
JNN!
+1
Level 38
Apr 20, 2022
I prefer ONN
+2
Level 54
May 27, 2021
I'd be curious to know your thoughts about a harsher lockdown causing more damage than the disease. From a mental health perspective? Infringement on how one lives their life? Cause these things are already happening, unless you're just saying that the problems we have would be exacerbated by a harsher lockdown.
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Level 70
May 27, 2021
I'm not Quizmaster, but I do have a partial answer to your question: India. In March 2020, when India still had very few cases, the government instituted what was one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Unfortunately, it was also poorly planned, and the decisions were mostly made by politicians NOT scientists. Since the lockdown went into effect midnight (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) the day it was decreed, a lot of people were cut off from basic supplies or left rushing to buy them. Also, India has tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of migrant workers who live in the country but do temporary jobs in big cities. When the country shut down, these workers had no access to public transportation and had to walk the whole way home. Many of them, unfortunately, died of starvation or exhaustion. Overall, the estimated death toll of the lockdown itself was about 350.
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Level 70
May 27, 2021
I wouldn't say the lockdown was worse than the disease--after all, some estimates say over 100,000 lives were saved by the lockdown, and you need only turn on the news to see how devastating it would have been (and is now) if COVID got out of control. And while I think the lockdown was poorly planned and it wasn't a decision the government should have made alone, I also think it was well-intentioned. At the same time, there's no doubt that the lockdown caused a lot of unnecessary damage. Besides the deaths, the lockdown caused the Indian economy contracted by like 10%, and tens of millions were pushed into extreme poverty. And, of course, it was only a temporary solution--the situation in India is really dire right now, and it seems the lockdown really just delayed the inevitable.
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Level 54
May 28, 2021
But as you mentioned, wasn't the Indian lockdown also very unorganized? With Modi not consulting any of the states and announcing the lockdown four hours before it went into effect, it's no surprise there was mass hysteria.

I tried to do some research regarding the various lockdowns and responses to COVID around the world. I know Australia wasn't as strict as India, but they seemingly handled things very well. They had timely fiscal/monetary stimulants and limited transmission. From what I see, their economy is set to rebound because of this.

I watched Scott Morrison's speech, and what stood out is that he mentioned rebounding, keeping Australians healthy, and providing job support. When reading the transcript of Modi's address, it was more focused on how COVID would be an opportunity for India to turn the corner economically in the 21 century and become more self-reliant. Which doesn't even make sense, considering you're more likely to face a recession in a pandemic.

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Level 54
May 28, 2021
And obviously, they did face a recession, just like many other nations. I'm not seeing how a harsher lockdown could be worse than the disease if the leader works in conjunction with their advisors and scientists.

Unless we're saying that the already present effects of the pandemic are worsened (economics, social life, effect on daily lifestyle, etc.), which is fair game.

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Level 57
May 28, 2021
Very true, lockdown was announced out of no where and quickly enforced, and regarding this decision, no consultation was taken from any states, doctors or scientists. Millions of people who rely on daily wages for survival of themselves and their families had lost their only source of money, and living in city was not something most of those people could afford with only a little amount of money. If only it was planned better, informed to people a bit earlier, and considered people living below poverty line, it would have been a lot better.
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Level 54
May 28, 2021
We also have to remember we're talking in the context of the United States. QM mentioned a harsher lockdown being worse than the disease. A harsher lockdown for the United States would have meant an actual nationwide lockdown (because Trump refused to do federal-run lockdowns, but rather state-run lockdowns). In that scenario, what's worse than the disease? If anything, that sounds better to me because it would have regulated the lockdown rules. Some states didn't even have mask mandates, out-of-state travel bans, and stay-at-home orders. Surely a scenario like that would've been better, even if it was harsher than what was actually put in place.

Granted, it would have been Trump running the show, so I'll curb my enthusiasm.

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Level 70
May 28, 2021
@michaelngwa, I agree with all your points. I generally support COVID lockdowns, and there are multiple examples where strict, well-organized lockdowns were effective and didn't hurt the economy much. I can't envision a case where lockdown is worse than the pandemic itself (unless, perhaps, a government uses it as an excuse to go full North Korea--and while many governments have used COVID as an excuse to clamp down on dissent and limit democracy, I haven't heard anything quite that bad). I just wanted to point out that, when instituted haphazardly without expert advice, lockdowns can have harmful side effects.
+2
Level 51
May 28, 2021
@michaelngwa, I'll say that Modi was the most corrupt leader I have ever seen, as an Indian American.
+2
Level 62
May 28, 2021
Corrupt no, incompetent yes (especially since late 2019). Especially with him having control of a grand 334/550 seats in Lok Sabha, he has been very disappointing on various issues such as recovery of black money, handling of protests, preparation for the second wave, handling Chinese aggression ,ensuring safety of own party workers in Bengal ( who are currently bring murdered by the TMC after the election loss).
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Level 51
May 28, 2021
Incompetent, definitely. Modi was just how Trump was like about Hydroxychloroquine, except Modi is obsessed with a more...disgusting...thing.
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Level 55
May 28, 2021
I agree with King. Modi isn't as corrupt as his INC counterparts, but he hasn't done well. He locked the country down too late, opened it too early, tried to promote unproven treatments, cancel people on twitter who criticized him, and held jam-packed political rallies. This resulted in his party losing in one of the Biggest States in West Bengal. Modi is an OK PM on all the issues besides COVID.
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Level 70
May 28, 2021
Personally, I don't think Modi is corrupt in terms of financial scandals and the like, but I think he's incredibly selfish and cares more about his own power than the good of his country, even if it means risking lives. I mean, there was absolutely no justification for his campaigning at a time he should have been focusing on solving the COVID crisis. I also don't like how his often violent responses to protests (as Eureka mentioned), his decisions to cut off internet at random times, and his treatment of religious minorities. At the end of the day, I think everything he's done since his re-election has been about giving himself more power--and while that may not be the same "corruption" of the INC, it's just as harmful and more dangerous in the long term.
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Level 57
May 28, 2021
Modi is not as good as a leader he was a couple of years ago. He takes unwanted actions without concerns of other members of parliament, even other than covid related matters. Plus, even though India is a secular nation, Modi and his party is always more focused towards Hinduism and promotes it, only allow hindu candidates from their party to run in elections, which is very wrong. The followers of Modi aren't so good either, they blindly believe anything Modi says, give death threats to anyone who opposes Modi and much worse.
+1
Level 51
May 29, 2021
But making a multi-million dollar estate isn't corrupt...?
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Level 55
May 29, 2021
I didn't say he wasn't corrupt, I just said that he isn't as corrupt as some of his counterparts. Yes, he is renovating the Parliamentary Building, and that money should be diverted towards Masks, Oxygen, Ventilators, and Medical Supplies. Incompetent like we can both agree.
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Level 51
May 30, 2021
Plus ignorantly making a house for himself, while his country perishes in the background.
+9
Level 63
May 27, 2021
I'd say I have to disagree with the last statement, sure it could have been a lot worse, but it definitely could have been a lot better. If China publicly announced the virus sooner, if early outbreaks in Italy and Iran were handled better, and if Western Nations responded quicker and more effectively, we wouldn't have what most countries are experiencing a third wave in 14 months.
+5
Level 62
May 27, 2021
I still think that the ninth statement(Warm Temperatures Might Help) was inaccurate. It was just a coincidence that the decline of the first wave in northern countries occurred with the onset of summer season. Whereas in many other countries, the first wave peaked during summer and declined after summer ended.
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Level 68
May 27, 2021
It is interesting to look back on initial reaction and see how things have changed so drastically in just over a year. Hopefully we are nearing the end of all this but I still find myself nervous looking at such an uncertain/unknown future after our familiar and comfortable past has been shattered.
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Level 58
May 28, 2021
I disagree with statement #5 mainly because of my unlucky point of view. I knew many people who died of COVID.
+2
Level 35
May 28, 2021
I agree with you
+1
Level 54
May 28, 2021
Many people died but not more then people that died after dengue, Malaria and hepatitis I think
+3
Level 51
May 28, 2021
But how long did those pandemics last?
+1
Level 58
May 29, 2021
It's worse living in it then hearing about it.
+1
Level 65
May 28, 2021
Not sure where you get the info on "consumers could once again purchase bats and dogs for consumption as food at China's famous wet markets". The "famous wet markets" are nothing more than any fresh food market in the rest of the world, and eating bats and dogs, while happens, is pretty much taboo in China nowadays. This statement is as accurate as "parents in the West sometimes lock up their children in basement for their incestuous fun"
+5
Level ∞
May 28, 2021
The difference of course is that locking your children in your basement in the West is against the law while eating dog in China is not. In fact, in 2020, the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival was held once again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lychee_and_Dog_Meat_Festival

Nevertheless, eating dog meat is not something unique to China and in fact was once quite common in the West as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat

I don't intend to pass judgment on eating traditional foods.

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Level 76
May 28, 2021
Why did most people assume that Covid would not return after the first wave? Most virologists urgently warned of a harsher second wave all summer long, well at least in Germany. Which didn't get our politicians to prepare for it in any way, of course.
+1
Level 73
May 28, 2021
On point #7: Actually, very strong evidence has come forward throughout the spring that Ivermectin is effective against severe cases and transmission of COVID-19. Several meta-analyses have come out this past month confirming this. You can look at side-by-side comparisons between Brazilian cities that instituted use of the drug and those that didn't. The differences are stark.
+1
Level ∞
May 28, 2021
Wikipedia says this:

"During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, misinformation was widely spread claiming that ivermectin was beneficial for treating and preventing COVID-19. No reliable evidence exists to back up such claims."

So I'm not sure. Unfortunately, Wikipedia's record has been less than sterling throughout the course of the pandemic. I'll admit that it's possible Wikipedia is wrong here. For example, Wikipedia's article on the origins of Covid is outdated.

Still, without more data, my default position would be that Ivermectin is ineffective.

+1
Level 35
May 28, 2021
Well, as a Brazilian, I can really say that Ivermectin is being used on a large scale. Hydroxychloroquine is also being used. I can say that it is really working. Ivermectin, if taken in an excessive way, becomes a neurotoxin, which can cause brain death, however, if used in the correct way, it demonstrates a preventive way, besides first, obviously going to a doctor.

My parents had COVID-19 in late 2020, despite the negative tests. Maybe I even had it, but asymptomatically, since I didn't take the test. We took one Ivermectin tablet per month, depending on each person's weight (1 tablet basis, up to 30kg).

My father had a weaker COVID, with only a lack of smell and taste, because we took the medicine. My mother also had COVID, but she also had dengue fever (positive test) and became more debilitated, although everything is fine now. Ivermectin proves to be reliable, if taken in the right way.

+2
Level 73
May 28, 2021
Correlation in an anecdote does not imply a causative relationship.
+1
Level 73
May 28, 2021
https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Fulltext/2021/06000/Review_of_the_Emerging_Evidence_Demonstrating_the.4.aspx

It's not a short read, but you can glance at tables 1 & 2 for the comparisons I was talking about, and maybe they'll peak your interest in the compound. More examples are present from other countries as well (though few in developed nations I'll admit). The "reliable evidence" which wikipedia refers to, is probably a large-scale clinical trial in regards to covid-19 efficacy. That certainly doesn't exist, but with the evidence presented, it's difficult to understand why that study hasn't yet been undertaken. In any case, it's hard to argue that for countries with surging cases and without adequate vaccine supply, distributing ivermectin isn't likely worth the risk/reward tradeoff. It's been in use prophylactically (for parasites) since the 90's, side effects are mild and well documented, and even cheap to manufacture.

+2
Level ∞
May 29, 2021
Thanks @Mahkagh. I'd have to see more info, but I am open to the idea that this is an effective treatment. I guess time will tell. The Wikipedia article is quite bad in this case.
+1
Level 55
May 28, 2021
Quite Hilariously, after the US launched its probe into the Chinese Lab,China responded by Launching probes into American Labs
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Level 75
May 28, 2021
The problem doesn't belong to the government alone, or even primarily. The duty to protect citizens lies with the people. And if citizens ignore the restrictions laid out by the government to help them do that, the government is not useful. Yes, China has a lot of problems, but you can't deny that their citizens actually listen to the government when the health of their nation is on the line (except if you're in Xinjiang, where they'll put you in a camp).
+1
Level 55
May 28, 2021
I mean, about the warmer climates thing. I think it was coincidental, because while the biggest spikes were in Winter, the spikes in the Summer were pretty big too, and they peaked in warm states like Texas and Florida, so I think it's more a matter of Cold Temps hurting than warm temps helping.
+3
Level ∞
May 28, 2021
Warm temps = good. Extremely warm temps = maybe bad. As this article says.
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Level 48
May 28, 2021
Interesting, to see the evolution of the situation more than a whole year later. But today yet, we can't know if we will finally finish with this stupid virus... Thanks for this very pertinent informations!
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Level 56
May 28, 2021
Is it really likely that covid was caused by a lab leak though? It's just a theory and the scientific consensus is currently on natural origins. Seems like useless editorializing
+1
Level 73
Jun 1, 2021
"Consensus" has no relevance to truth. I never understand this argument. Plenty of scientists who turned out to be right had no consensus at the time of their studies--Einstein, Semmelweiss, Goddard to name a few. Isn't it better to investigate the lab leak theory thoroughly and be sure instead of just taking the CCP's word for it?
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Level 53
May 28, 2021
"The only other countries that have seen similar success are either islands like Australia or other authoritarian places."

The fact that Australia (and New Zealand, and Taiwan) are islands is the sort of thing that seems like a common sense factor but doesn't really make much of a difference. Australia still had thousands of flights coming in and out every day up until the moment the government shut the border. Any country could have chosen to do the same. That's why it's called a border.

+1
Level 83
May 28, 2021
I didn't blog about it so impossible for me to back this up but I was not surprised by anything that happened. I've been playing this game with the dad of a friend of mine who is a conspiracy theorist, Q Anon supporter, and Trump fan. We make some predictions, roughly 10 or 15, every 1-3 months that we are fairly confident about. Bet money on each one based on our confidence (though when I was willing to bet him $80 trillion- roughly the GDP of Earth- that Trump would not be revealed to be the real president after "the Storm" and arrest Joe Biden and all the Democrats back in January, we agreed to set a realistic limit of $20 per prediction). Things we have bet on include a lot of politics, current events, a bunch of COVID stuff, etc. So far my predictions have been right 100% of the time. His predictions have been right 0% of the time (though I gave him credit for some that were kinda sorta not totally wrong, if interpreted very generously).
+1
Level 83
May 28, 2021
He currently owes me several thousand dollars of which I expect to never see a cent. Or if I do get paid it will probably be in the form of some worthless crypto currency. But I still haven't been able to convince him that maybe he's trusting unreliable new sources. I'm used to this... I'm almost always right about pretty much everything... this makes me feel fairly secure in the knowledge that I am good at discerning between real news and propaganda, reliable information and spin, hyperbole and hard science... but Mr. Bay (this friend's father)... he's just as confident as ever that he is also right. In spite of the 0% success rate. I don't get it. Some people are really impossible to knock off their biases.
+1
Level 54
May 28, 2021
Maybe dialectic could work if you haven't tried it already. By asking probing questions, your friend would "work their way out of the dark," so to speak. Maybe if you asked him questions like:

"Well, why didn't you get anything right?" --> They'd give a response --> "Would you say it has anything to do with the sources you're using?" --> response --> "What does that tell you about those sources?" --> response --> "In fact, what goes into making a good source?"...

At least then, your friend would be forced to think about how they do their research. Maybe after that, they'd start to have some doubts about where they get their information.

+2
Level ∞
May 29, 2021
Almost everyone thinks that they have a valuable opinion about politics.

Someone could be an overweight, alcoholic, unemployed, homeless criminal who has failed at everything in their entire life and yet somehow believe that, when it comes to politics, other people should listen to them.

It's human nature.

+1
Level 83
May 29, 2021
QM's many recently expressed views on politics to me sound very much like someone close to the center of the "valley of despair" on a common chart of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Knowledgeable enough on a subject to realize you don't know everything, but not enough be able to easily discern between other's opinions when it all seems like a crapshoot and that any position can be rationalized. I've been meaning to make a blog entry myself about this sort of thing, and the best methods we have to arrive at real truth without bias... a rudimentary guide to epistemology, how this relates to religion, political beliefs, conspiracy theories, and our current post-fact world, along with personal reflections on this... but I'm too lazy.
+2
Level 83
May 29, 2021
Also... I can off the top of my head think of several incredibly intelligent people with enormous levels of knowledge and insight who were overweight, alcoholic, and at times unemployed... and most of us are criminals in one way or another... not sure if I can think of any homeless people who match this description. Does Ted Kaczynski count? Maybe Diogenes? And people described as failures sometimes are, but other times are just those who don't prioritize the same things that mainstream society does, which often highly correlates with high intelligence.

Anyway point being none of the above things precludes you from being rational, educated, informed, intelligent, insightful, logical, or knowing what sound epistemology is. They might indicate a lower social status, though, which means fewer people would listen to you.

+2
Level ∞
May 29, 2021
Diogenes and Ted Kaczynski are interesting cases because they chose their path deliberately and didn't just arrive there via failure. You should look up Dunning-Kruger though. It doesn't say what you think it says. The "Valley of Despair", for example, doesn't even exist. Rarely is a study so grossly misrepresented in the popular imagination.

https://graphpaperdiaries.com/2017/08/20/the-real-dunning-kruger-graph/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

+1
Level 83
May 29, 2021
I've read a lot about it. Including the 2nd article you link... and the article linked in the 1st article you linked. And now, since you linked it, also the 1st article. If I'm guilty of anything here it might be projecting my own experiences onto graphics I have seen which seemed to me to be pretty reflective. I'm thinking specifically of my history with my religious faith. When I was in high school I was very opinionated and I guess somewhat arrogant, definitely overly confident, when it came to asserting my own religious beliefs were correct including young-Earth Creationism. I actually had read and listened to a lot on the subject but it was mostly all from Christian apologist or pro-Creationist sources. So I felt like I knew a lot. But I was too immature to recognize that I had a biased and one-sided view of things, too ignorant to spot the errors in the evidence used by the sources I trusted, and my understanding of...
+1
Level 83
May 29, 2021
... epistemology was too weak for me to realize all the times (virtually all the time) when those sources would resort to weak arguments, circular reasoning, or assorted other logical fallacies. As I got older and was exposed to more contrary points of view, learned more about history, religion, biology, etc, and got somewhat better at sorting between good and bad arguments and reasoning... I eventually got to a point where I decided that I believed what I believed but not for any especially slam-dunk reasons. Rather I just took it as a matter of faith. I could rationalize all of my beliefs. But I recognized that everyone else could do the same. As you remarked recently in a post on politics - I was in the mode then of "talk less, learn more."

I did learn more. A lot more. And eventually learned enough to understand that my previous position(s) was wrong. And enough to understand why it was wrong. My confidence increased again.

+1
Level 83
May 29, 2021
I no longer felt it was a crapshoot. Or that all positions were valid because they could all be rationalized. ... having absorbed an enormous amount of new information, with new tools for discerning good arguments from bad, reliable data from cherry-picked or meaningless data.. eventually I could say that, yeah, the Earth is not 5,000 years old (among many other things)... and holding the position that it is is wrong. You can rationalize that position. But your arguments will be weaker. Your evidence will be weak or faulty. The position is untenable.

Anyway, to me, several of the things that you have typed recently about politics reminded me of myself when I was in the place of "well everyone's got their own opinion and who knows who's right" .... and while there's nothing especially wrong with that position and it in a way is admirable in its humility, imagine saying that to a professor of evolutionary biology when he tells you the Earth is not 5000 years old.

+1
Level 83
May 29, 2021
point being some people actually do know what they're talking about. and not everything is a matter of opinion. most things aren't.
+4
Level 67
Jun 1, 2021
For what it's worth, I have always taken QM's position to be more that he is frustrated by the simplistic presentations of complex issues made by people on either side of the argument. It's not that they're both right. It's that their bases are so flimsy or misinformed that even if they happen to be right, they don't really have the support they claim. I could claim, for example, that Abraham Lincoln is the greatest American president because he is the tallest among them. My ultimate conclusion that Lincoln is the best of the lot may well be correct, but even if it is, my reasoning is deeply flawed. But none of this changes the fact that I would pay good money to see a claymation kal vs. QM Celebrity Death Match.
+1
Level 55
Jul 5, 2021
As you say 10, we get Delta COVID.
+1
Level 53
Feb 12, 2022
Hopefully there won’t be anymore viruses coming…